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[en] Raising the level of sustainability in agriculture is foreshadowing as a target increasingly important for operators, given the need to contain costs in order to safeguard the income on the one hand and to increase the protection of environmental resources on the other. Not only that, in an increasingly global context, the need to maintain a high level of competitiveness of the manufacturing process put in place is recommended by most parties as a fundamental requirement for the to remind on the market. Precision farming is not the answer to all ills, but proves to be a flexible and powerful tool for solving defined and circumscribed problems of any region of the globe. Precision farming is also adaptable to all other forms of agriculture proposed as organic farming, multi-functional, crops for the production of bio fuels, climate change mitigation, subsistence farming and so forth, why enhances and streamlines the purposes. Finally, before being a set of technologies, it is a management style and a way of thinking to tackle any type of problem, because it enhances knowledge and optimize the rational management of resources.
[it]L'innalzamento del livello di sostenibilita' in agricoltura si sta prefigurando come un obiettivo sempre piu' importante per gli operatori, date le necessita' di contenere i costi per salvaguardare il reddito da un lato e quella di aumentare la protezione delle risorse ambientali dall'altro. Non solo, in un contesto sempre più' globale, la necessita' di mantenere elevato il livello di competitivita' del processo di produzione messo in atto e' indicato da piu' parti come un requisito fondamentale per la per-manenza sul mercato degli operatori. l'agricoltura di precisione non e' la soluzione per tutti i mali, ma si dimostra uno strumento flessibile e potente per risolvere problemi definiti e circoscritti di qualsiasi regione del globo. L'agricoltura di precisione e' anche adattabile a tutte le altre forme di agricoltura proponibili come quella biologica, quella multifunzionale, le coltivazioni per la produzione di biocombustibili, la mitigazione dei cambiamenti climatici, l'agricoltura di sussistenza e cosi' via, perche' ne valorizza e razionalizza le finalita'. Infine, prima di essere un insieme di tecnologie, e' uno stile di gestione e un modo di pensare per affrontare qualsiasi tipo di problema, perche' valorizza le conoscenze e ottimizza la razionale gestione delle risorse.
[en] It is estimated that demand for food and non-food commodities is likely to increase by at least 60% globally between 2010 and 2050, with many developing countries including those in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) having to double their food production. Future food production will be limited on a global scale by the availability of land, water, and energy under climate forcing, therefore decoupling future agricultural growth from the unsustainable use of these resources for increasing food production has become one of the cornerstones for a new sustainable development agenda. As a cornerstone of the new sustainable development agenda, the agricultural transformation in the next few decades have to be an eco-efficient revolution, with at least 30% to 50% increases in the efficiency of scarce resources used while also ensuring the availability of nutritious food for all and minimising many negative environmental impacts associated with contemporary food systems.
[en] Aim of study: To derive mathematical formulas to determine the optimum amounts of applied water and N at variable crop prices and rainfall conditions for sugar beet. Area of study: Karaj Research Center, Alborz Province, Iran. Material and methods: At first, mathematical formulas were derived to determine optimum applied water and nitrogen for sugar beet under rainfall occurrence, land limited (in cases that arable land area is limited and the farmer can not put more land area under irrigation) and water limited conditions when crop price depends on sugar content. Second, this theory was applied to analyze the relevant experimental data. The experiment was a split-plot design with irrigation treatments as the main plots (40%, 80%, 120% and 160% of evaporation from the surface of class A evaporation pan) and N fertilizer rates (0, 90, 180 and 270 kg N/ha) as subplots. Main results: Under land and water limiting conditions, deficit irrigation of 27% and 48% led to 6.4% and 25.4% decrease in yield and 21.4% and 96.2% increase in total net income, respectively, compared with full irrigation. Under water limiting conditions, cultivated land area increased by 93.7, 108 and 128% for 0, 60 and 120 mm rainfall, respectively. Under land limiting conditions, amounts of optimum irrigation water were 12381.2, 11781.2 and 11181.2 m3/ha, for 0, 60 and 120 mm rainfalls, respectively. The corresponding values for N were 262.5 kg/ha in all three rainfall quantities. Besides, under water limiting conditions, optimum amounts of irrigation water were 8708.1, 7828.8 and 6882.1 m3/ha for 0, 60 and 120 mm rainfalls, respectively. The corresponding values for N were 301.1, 299.5 and 295.5 kg/ha, respectively. Optimum amounts of irrigation water and N decreased by increase in rainfall amount. Research highlights: Under limited irrigation water conditions, if the rainfall, residual N, water cost and base crop price increases, the value of optimum applied water should be decreased.
[en] Economies rich in mineral resources, need to evaluate the merits of investing rents earned from resource extraction in other income generating activities to sustain the flow of income. It is hence important to estimate and assess the potential uses of the resource rent tax (RRT). This paper illustrates how the reinvestment of the RRT and other government revenue from mining can reduce the depreciation of the mine. This illustration is made with reference to a coal deposit in the Tavan-Tolgoi region of Mongolia. The paper also illustrates impact of mining on the macroeconomic performance of Mongolia. Standard macroeconomic frameworks that ignore the depreciation of mineral assets overstate economic performance. The paper also reviews the political issues and constraints that surround the implementation of the RRT. One option canvassed here is the granting of qualified custodial rights of the RRT to the mining firm. Such qualified rights are pertinent given that the RRT is legally the income owed to the State and investments in ventures such as human capital development can yield returns as high as 10% per annum. This study illustrates that even an investment option yielding an annual 3% return can make a significant difference. - Highlights: • We estimate resource rents owed to the state from energy resource extraction. • We show that mining revenues are over-stated when the depreciation of mineral assets are ignored. • We show that the investment of resource rents offers avenues for sustaining the flow of income. • We argue that the state can grant custody of the rents to mining firms for the management of investments
[en] The purpose of this study is to explore the empirical relationship between foreign direct investment (FDI), population, energy production, and water resources in South Asia. The newly developed approach dynamic common correlated effects (DCCE) by Chudik and Pesaran (Journal of Econometrics 188:393–420, 2015a) for measuring co-integration has been applied in the present study. This procedure provides significant robust outcomes in the presence of cross-sectional dependence among the cross-sectional units. The findings confirmed that earlier models, such as mean group (MG), pooled mean group (PMG), and augmented mean group (AMG), which have been used in the literature for long data, provide misleading results in the presence of cross-sectional dependence among the cross-sectional units. A statistically significant and negative result has been observed between FDI, population, energy production, and water resources in South Asia. The governments of South Asian economies must encourage green FDI initiatives for water management, ensuring water security, securing natural resources for enhancing the sustainable development of regional economies.
[en] This paper describes methods developed for using ASPIS (Advanced Spectroscopic Imaging System) to monitor biophysical parameters in studying the effects of climatic change, desertification and land degradation on semi-natural and agricultural vegetation in the Mediterranean region
[it]Le metodologie sviluppate per l'utilizzo del sistema di telerilevamento aereo ASPIS offrono un contributo importante nel monitoraggio di parametri biofisici per lo studio degli effetti dei cambiamenti climatici, della desertificazione e dell'impatto antropico sulla vegetazione mediterranea seminaturale ed agricola
[en] Rapid population growth and the challenge of food security combined with burgeoning urban development have put multiple pressures on land and water resources. Worldwide soil degradation is currently estimated at 1.9 billion hectares and is increasing at a rate of 5 to 7 million hectares each year. Once land resources are degraded, rehabilitation usually requires a long-term effort and is often expensive. To mitigate land and soil degradation, effective soil conservation and suitable rehabilitation practices are required and should be chosen according to the levels and causes of soil degradation. The basic principles of soil conservation and management for preventing land degradation are: (i) to control soil erosion by practices such as terracing, reduced tillage in combination with mulching, intercropping or grass strips, (ii) to improve soil fertility through organic and inorganic fertilizers, and (iii) to prevent accumulation of harmful substances. Natural rehabilitation of degraded land can be a practical and low-cost alternative. For example, soil stabilization through vegetative measures has been used to control wind and water erosion and simultaneously improve soil health by increasing soil organic matter and nutrient availability. Nevertheless, if land has been degraded by mining and/or contaminated by heavy metals or organic pollutants, the surrounding farmlands can also be affected through surface runoff from the contaminated site, thereby rendering them unfit for cultivation. In this case, phytoremediation technologies, defined as the use of plants and trees to remove, immobilize, transform or degrade contaminants in polluted soil or water, in combination with for instance constructed wetlands and/or microbial interactions can be used to remediate polluted land as well as to prevent contamination of farmlands. Therefore both on-farm management and off-site remediation are important to protect and improve agricultural land resources, hence improve crop productivity and environmental quality. During this seminar, case studies using some of the techniques mentioned above to prevent and rehabilitate degraded land were presented. (author)
[en] Safety and Sustainability: • A strong mutual dependency has been identified between the objectives of HSE and sustainable development goals, such as the sustainable management and use of critical mineral resources. • A practice cannot be described as sustainable that is not also safe.
[en] The need to produce sufficient food of acceptable quality in the context of an ever-expanding human population has been recognized as a priority by several international conventions and agreements. Intensification, rather than expansion of agriculture into new areas, will be required if the goal of food security is to become a reality. Problems related to the sustainable production of food, fuel and fibre, both in low input and in high input agricultural systems, are now widely recognized. The overexploitation of the natural resource base has led to serious declines in soil fertility through loss of organic matter, nutrient mining, and soil erosion. The overuse of external inputs of water and manufactured fertilizers has resulted in salinization and pollution of ground and surface waters. Nuclear science has a crucial role to play in supporting research and development of sustainable farming systems. An FAO/IAEA International Symposium on Nuclear Techniques in Integrated Plant Nutrient, Water and Soil Management, held in Vienna from 16 to 20 October 2000, was attended by 117 participants representing forty-three countries and five organizations. The purpose was to provide an international forum for a comprehensive review of the state of the art and recent advances made in this specific field, as well as a basis for delineating further research and development needs. The participation of soil, crop and environmental scientists, as well as isotope specialists, ensured an exchange of information and views on recent advances in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to addressing problems in sustainable land management. The symposium was organized around seven themes, each represented by a technical session introduced by a keynote speaker: Evaluation and management of natural and manufactured nutrient sources; Soil organic matter dynamics and nutrient cycling; Soil water management and conservation; Plant tolerance to environmental stress; Environmental and pollution studies; Assessment of soil erosion and sedimentation; Recent advances in isotope analytical methodologies and related instrumentation. The symposium not only demonstrated the dynamic and evolving role of isotopes in monitoring and improving the nutrient and water status of soils, and thereby the sustainability of natural resource use for crop production, but served to increase awareness among the international scientific and development communities of recent advances in methodologies and approaches. In particular, attention was drawn to the substantial opportunities now available for improving the sensitivity and precision of stable and radioactive isotope determination through better instrumentation, and to new multiple labelling approaches to follow the cycling of two or more nutrients simultaneously and which illustrated clearly the interdependence between nutrient and carbon fluxes
[en] The present issue reports the results obtained through the activities dedicated to the Management of Natural Resources of Sicily Eco-innovation Project, focused on sustainable tourism. Both studies and interventions were carried out between 2012 and 2015 in collaboration with the City Council and the Marine Protected Area of Egadi Islands, within the islets of Egadi Archipelago (few kilometres offshore of the Sicilian west coast). The study area is characterised by many ecological and naturalistic assets, particularly in the underwater environment, where a very high biodiversity is present thanks to the location and its particular hydrologic conditions. Here, the seabed has an irregular morphology with many cliffs, outcrops, sand banks and submarine valleys. It is a natural laboratory where the seasonal anthropic pressure is strongly related to tourism, leisure and professional/illegal fishing, pollution related to urbanisation (more intense in the Island of Favignana); all activities highly impacting the marine ecosystem and main threat for biological resources
[it]Questo numero della rivista riporta i risultati ottenuti con le attività dedicate alla Gestione delle Risorse Naturali nell’ambito del Progetto Eco-innovazione Sicilia, focalizzate sul turismo sostenibile. Gli studi e gli interventi sono stati effettuati tra il 2012 e il 2015 in collaborazione con il Comune di Favignana e l'Area Marina Protetta delle Isole Egadi, arcipelago situato a pochi km dalla costa occidentale della Sicilia. L'area di studio è caratterizzata da molte risorse ecologiche e naturalistiche, in particolare nell’ambiente acquatico, in cui è presente una elevata biodiversità grazie alla posizione e alle sue particolari condizioni idrologiche. Qui il fondale ha una morfologia irregolare con molte scogliere, affioramenti, banchi di sabbia e valli sottomarine. Si tratta di un laboratorio naturale dove la pressione antropica stagionale è fortemente legata al turismo, al tempo libero e alla pesca professionale o illegale, mentre l'inquinamento è dovuto all'urbanizzazione (più intenso nell'isola di Favignana): tutte attività che hanno un forte impatto sull'ecosistema marino e costituiscono la principale minaccia per le risorse biologiche